Teacher wants her to stay back a grade

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by allhaileris, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I am so mad at her teacher and the school right now. What's the point of an IEP if not to help the child stay on track with the other kids (or make exceptions knowing the child's limitations)? She's in 1st grade. The teacher says that she's at the beginning of 1st on a reading level (but agrees it's improved a lot, which it has) but that her math is on a K level. We've known for a while her math *****, but I'm not a teacher, I have a hard time with learning-how-to-do-math concepts because I easily get math. All of her other subjects are at grade level.

    I feel like the school has failed us. And to top it off, there is a waldorf school in our school district (a rare thing) and we could have signed up for the school lottery back in Feb if I thought this is what we would do because the age cut-off is June 30 instead of Nov 30 so there would be kids in 1st grade next year that were her same age. I called and they're full and the waiting list is long.

    I would feel so bad for her to stay back, and yes, very much on a self-esteem level for her. I don't want her teased. But I also feel that the school should have been there to make sure she stayed on track. The teacher knows that we have a hard time getting her to do homework, and all she sends home is math.

    I'm so frustrated and upset about this I know I'm taking it personally. I need to do what's best for her, but I don't want to sacrafice one year of schooling if there are other steps we can take (or the school should have done already) if it can help.

    Her teacher said it's up to us, but she's not giving us any other options. I'm sure there are, what are they? And what use is the IEP if they're not keeping her on track?
  2. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    the ***** is *****. Stupid computer program! MODERATOR - please fix this or tell me in what universe that is a bad word! I've asked this before and I'll ask this every single time and lame word gets the * treatment!
    Lasted edited by : Apr 14, 2009
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Sandy--- the word is on the censor list... 'nuff said.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think I would either get her a tutor to work on math over the summer or get her enrolled in one of these places that works with kids on academics, and let her pass if this is the only big area of weakness. I agree- they shouldn't have waited until now to let you know that this is a potential for retention.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I would convene an IEP meeting and address these very questions.
  6. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Um, no, not enough said. I want this stupid word taken OFF the censor list. Like I asked before, what universe is it a bad word?

    And back to the real post, the teacher emailed me back and wants to talk in person. Won't even answer my slew of questions via email. FRAK! I'm SO P*SSED!!
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Sandy, while you are welcome to your opinion you will not be in charge of the censor list. If you have any other complaints you can take them to pm: myself, runawaybunny or a moderator. The word will stay on the censor list.
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    while I agree that the school should not wait until the end of the school year to notify a parent that a child is in danger of "failing" or they are recommending retention, I think the important issue is to call an IEP meeting ASAP for the sole purpose of this discussion.

    As your difficult child's parent, I'm sure you are aware of the struggles your daughter has had in math this year. I am sure those struggles are reflected in her grades and the homework that she must struggle with. My difficult child has a friend who has a very, very serious math disabillity. There are some members here who have grown children who can not (not will not, but can't) count change. The school may be doing all they can for your daughter at this point but her disability is severe. Or the case may be that they are not providing her with the type of math instruction she needs to grasps the concepts. Either way, an IEP meeting is the appropriate setting for the discussion.

    Her teacher cannot speak for the IEP team. Her teacher cannot legally make modifications in the instruction or allowances that allow your daughter to pass. I think, were I in your shoes, I would go to the meeting armed with your daughter's progress reports (which will hopefully show her math deficiency), report cards, a few quiz or worksheet pages that show her understanding or lack of unstanding of the math content. I think I would also, in a fun and unthreatening way, test my daughter on some math concepts that the teacher/school says she is not grasping. Simple things like sorting by color, sorthing by size, recognizing simple patterns, single digit subtraction and addition with manipulates (with something fun like gummie bears), etc. This will arm you with a feeling of where your daughter is.

    It may be that further testing by the IEP team is needed and/or she may score low on the end of the year PALS testing so state mandated math tutoring may result from that anyway.

    It's good that this is something that you are touching on now. Many times the earlier you find and begin to work with the disability the sooner techniques that allow your child to grasp and apply those concepts can be implemented.

    Obviously if this is a case of the school or the teacher not doing their job, all the above is mute!

    Good luck.

  9. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    For the third time, what universe is ***** a bad word??? This is totally lame! I'm not asking to be in charge of the censor list. If I were there would be NO censored words at all. I believe people should be able to say the exact word they want to say, even if it's crude. But ***** Please. A vacuum or straw *****. I'm just asking WHY!

    Regarding my issue and what Sharon said - this is part of the issue. I never see "quizes" at all. I see some homework sent back but there are never grades on it. I only see her report card 3 times a year. husband feels she isn't being taught in a method that she understands. This I agree with and this is why I feel they've failed her because they just teach in one way and that's it. And regarding level of math, apparently next year they're going to do fractions! THey already have some algebra in their work. I'm actually really good at math, but I think they're going to fast. And they've said that she has a auditory learning disability, but never mentioned a math based disability. husband thinks she knows it and just doesn't want to do it. I'm not sure but I think that he's partly right there.

    I just need to talk to the teacher today. Hopefully I don't totally blow up because I'm SO tired of stupid people today.
    Lasted edited by : Apr 14, 2009
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    The word is offensive to some.
  11. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....


    What specifically are your child's math deficits?

    Is she struggling with computation or more about learning new math concepts?

    How is her number sense-problem solving skills? Once she learns a skills is she able to maintain that skill over time or does she forget it?

    Have you tried any computer prorgrams to teach/reinforce concepts?
    Is she able to demonstate concepts using manipulaitves, counters, etc??

    Personally I would never expect my child's teacher to answer a list of questions via email regarding the concept of retention. This conversation must be done in person at the school...and if she has an IEP it must be part of the discussion with the IEP team so I 'd suggest you request a periodic review...

    I am sorry for your frustration regarding the idea that the school is considering retaining your child. Most research suggests that the negative effects of retaining a child outweigh the benefits; especially is the student already has identified learning issues.

    However, personally I do believe that there are benefits in retention...

    As a teacher I do encourage parent to you hold back their child prior to kindergarten. Otherwise retention must happen in the early grades: It's important to understand that retention does not usually fix the problem...but allows additional time to learn material.

    Things to consider:
    1. Will repeating a year allow your child to catch up or will he/she still be behind??
    2. Is your child young emotionally? perhaps repeating the year will allow her to feel better about herself--vs frustrated when she doesn't understand conepts?
    3. Does your child need more of the same ( another year of first grade) or would he/she benefit from a different approach to instruction; perhaps a smaller group; or research based intervention?
    4. If you decide to retain your child you need to be happy with your decision and not blame the school if it does not work.

    If she is truly on grade level in all aspects other than math....I would not think the school would want to retain....

    Also....here is a list of words you could use to describe your child's math skills:

    deficient, inadequate, poor, weak, below par, below expectation, inferior, unsatistactory, palty, shabby, shoddy, slight, mediocre, meaer, subpar, lousy, off, poor, punk, rotten, substandard, unacceptable, ungodly, unsatisfactory, wanting, wretched, wrong..

    And here is another list of words to use describe your frustration and/or anger with your child's teacher...

    angered, apoplectic, enraged, foaming, fuming, furious, incensed, indignant, inflamed, infuriated, irate, ireful, mad, outraged, riled,
    huffy, livid, worked up, bitter, embittered, malevolent, piqued, rancorous, resentful, frigid, icy, ill-tempered, aggravated, annoyed, bearish, bilious, cantankerous, exasperated, fretful, fussy, grouchy, grumpy, irritable, peevish, perturbed, contentious, contrary, ornery,

    The words you used in your post are considered "slang" and not even in the dictionary within the context you have used them...it would be better to use more respectful language...as this will allow people to better respect your thoughts as well...
  12. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    THank you Jannie - that is very good feedback on why or why not to keep her back. I appreicate that input, exactly what I was looking for.

    I've been told she gets worked up about math and is nervous around the other kids. I've brought computer games home and she refuses to do them. If I throw out little things here or there to help her think about math she does fine (like some movie the other day the girl said she was almost 12, and E said "oh, she's 11" or if I just say what a flashcard would say, she's better than if it's written down). She has to add by counting, the memorization to keep the fact isn't there.

    Emotionally she's doing so-so, but I think with the speech delay and other stuff she's doing okay on gaining maturity like her peers are doing.
  13. dcmckay

    dcmckay New Member

    Look up the word "*****" on dictionary.com and is states, "To draw (liquid) into the mouth by movements of the tongue and lips that create suction." It also has a vulgar slang definition relating to a sexual act.

    I, personally, think that is plenty of reason to have it on the censored list! I do not allow my kids to use this word, nor do I use it myself. Thank you, moderators!!
    Lasted edited by : Apr 14, 2009
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    So, then I guess we should censor "hoover", too, because that is what people on this board frequently use to replace the other word. Personally, my mind is not in the gutter so the vulgar definition never occurs to me.

    Sandy, an IEP meeting is the best place to air this out; not with the teacher alone. I'm not even sure holding her back can be done without the IEP team involvement, but I could be wrong. The team needs to determine what areas specifically she's struggling with and form a plan to help her in those areas. She may need specific testing and if you aren't satisfied with what the IEP team comes up with as a resolution, I would definitely push for it.

    Good luck.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Definitely convene an IEP. We have never retained my difficult child (never has been recommended) but there are times I've wondered about it and if it might not have been somewhat beneficial for my difficult child.

    That being said, I find it strange they want to hold back due to her being behind in math only and especially being only one grade level behind. In the school district where I teach that would not be reason for retention. Also, if her disability area is math she wouldn't necessarily be expected to be on track grade level. An IEP doesn't guarantee that a student will be kept on track with the other kids. My difficult child is in 6th grade and still reading and doing math at about a first grade level. It is not the school's fault in the case of our difficult child although I do feel some things could have been handled differently.
  16. Whatsername

    Whatsername New Member

    Just wanted to say I know where you are coming from on this one! my son has had his IEP in place since the beginning of the year. He's in 3rd grade. We've had the usual meetings, but all of a sudden they've decided that they don't know if they can pass him. We went from "There is no reason for him not to succeed in a normal classroom", to "We don't know if we should pass him, and whether we do or not, he will probably need a special education class".
    I know it's not all the school's fault. They have done a lot for us this year. One thing to consider is that if she is held back, especially since she is so young, and her diagnosis is most likely not solid yet, she may actually blossom for you the second time around in that grade.
    One thing i'm learning in this whole new world of difficult child's is that you do what's truly best for them, no matter how much it hurts you!

    Me: 30, pt office assistant. Anxiety/depression, Thyroid disorder.
    husband: my rock
    difficult child: 9 year old darling boy. Major depression and mood disorders with pyschotic features, ADHD, possible Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
    easy child: 7 year old trying her best to be 17 (lol)
  17. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Does your school have a math specialist or a math resouce room teacher?

    I was able to use ours to give me some assistance with teaching my dyslexic son to do math. He is in grade 7 now and attends a private school for kids with dyslexia and other LDs. He is in a top math group and I think the early intervention really helped.

    Kids learn math differently. At your daughter's age, frankly, memorization is not really an expected skill. My current 9th grader is math gifted, is in an advanced Honors class and even he did not have his times tables memorized in grade 1. It's too much to expect, it is NOT age appropriate, in my humble opinion as a parent of 5 and as a former "gifted" math student myself. If that is an expectation the school has of her, no wonder she is struggling. Most schools do not even teach by rote until 3rd or 4th grade. I think they should start exposing kids to simple concepts, like everything times one is itself and anything times 0 is zero, in grade 1 but not expect it to sink in to all but the most gifted before about 3rd grade.

    She may also catch up on her own. I taught my youngest to count by letting him help me roll pennies first by ones, then by 2's, etc. Many kids need visual aids to help them learn math (even in my son's Honors class, they are taught to use colored pencils to help with geometry proofs). Try making it fun for her - take her shopping and let her help you with simple math. How many items have we bought? If I bought 2 tomatoes and I need 4 altogether, how many more do we need to get? If it's fun, it won't be so much like learning. As for the computer programs, my kids really disliked them - no matter what their math abilities were. They did like one called "The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis." I'm not sure exactly how it works but I think it has to do with visualizing it.

    Sorry to be so long-winded.

    I think retention has its place but if the way a child is taught after being retained doesn't change then the child is still going to have the same problems compounded by the shame of being held back.

    Good luck to you.

    My daughter, whose math skills "hoover" due to lead poisoning, did not learn her tables till middle school. At 12, she was counting on her fingers still. She is very musically inclined and we used things like Schoolhouse Rock and music videos on math to help her learn. I would suggest those for your daughter. My daughter actually used to sing the times tables to herself.
  18. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    All 4 of my children were below grade level on academics at the end of first grade.

    For our oldest daughter, she ended first grade knowing all of her letters and about 9-10 sight words. We did not retain her because her academic issues were so severe that one year wasn't going to help her catch up. She remains in full time Special Education.

    For our oldest son, he had an awful first grade teacher. We had him repeat first grade because he didn't learn what he should have due to the very poor instruction he had gotten. He is now mainstreamed with resource support.

    For our younger daughter, she was very immature for her age. She needed an extra year to mature. We had her repeat first grade to buy her the extra time she needed to mature. She is now in regular ed and only gets special services during the standardized testing.

    For our younger son, he is very bright and his issues would not have been solved with an extra year. He is in full time Special Education.

    Our daughter could care less that she was retained (close to 1/3 of her at-risk preschool class repeated either Kindergarten or 1st grade so it doesn't seem odd to her.) Our son does occasionally bring it up as it made him the oldest in his class - he is 13 and many of his classmates are still 11. But he remains immature for his age and fits in fine.

    It is a very personal decision.
  19. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I suggest that you repost this on the Special Education forum and they can give you specifics on what steps to follow.

    Sometimes repeating a grade can be beneficial (especially if maturity is a primary issue) but the bottom line is if an IEP student didn't respond to the methods the first time around they probably won't the second time around. The school needs to support the recommendation with test data (not just classroom scores) and needs to formulate a plan based on that data. Then it needs to be determined whether the recommendations can be best carried out by repeating the current grade or if it would be better for her to go on.

    Doing the same thing that didn't work the first time won't help. But you need to go through the Special Education channels and not just deal with the teacher.
  20. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    this is only my experience but my difficult child 1 was retained in 2nd grade and if I could do it over I would not have done it. Other kids made fun of her and she thought she was stupid--the teachers and I explained that she was being held back because she had missed a lot of school and was having trouble concentrating (her dad was ill that year and then died) but she felt it was because she was stupid and never got over that feeling. I think it was horrible for her self-esteem.

    I know this is just my experience and may not pertain to your difficult child at all, just thought I'd let you know how it went for us.